The Vows

The Vow of Obedience

It’s about listening to the calls  of God in our lives.
Mary lived out her whole life in the spirit of her ‘Fiat’. By her obedience, she became the Mother of God and co-operated in her Son’s redeeming mission. She is blessed because she listened to the word of God and carried it out … It is from Mary that we learn responsiveness to the Spirit and an obedience that is courageous and clear-sighted.
— Marist Constitutions, #38


As Brothers, our love for God and desire to listen attentively to where God is calling us involves listening and dialogue with our congregational leaders. Our saying “Yes” like Mary to becoming a Brother is an up-front choice and an act of obedience to freely put our lives and talents at the service of the Institute, going wherever we are sent.

Taking a vow of obedience is not the same as renouncing one’s personal freedom. It is an act of faith we make in saying “Yes” to allowing God’s grace to be made more present through us. Like Jesus, who offered himself totally to the Father, when we put our lives in God’s hands we also experience the freedom and joy of being available to God so that his grace and love can fully permeate our lives.

When we open ourselves to discernment with our leaders, some of the most fruitful and meaningful ministry experiences are realised, even if we might not have chosen them for ourselves. In the spirit of the vow of Obedience, each Brother strives to be open and attentive to the needs of the Congregation and its mission.

While the vow of Obedience does not take away our personal responsibility for living out our consecrated life, it helps us practically as we discern with our congregational leaders, as they consider Brothers for individual assignments and new communities.

by Michael Mirabella